S26-E02 : STARTING OUT
Lee's first TV role was as a guest star in long-running BBC drama Casualty, set in the Accident & Emergency Department of Holby City Hospital.
In an episode called Starting Out Lee played teaching assistant, Harry Timms, on his first day at Farmead Academy, where trouble flares between challenging pupil, Lee Stark (Daniel Anthony) and his teacher (Pooky Quesnel).
Radio Times Synopsis: "It's a night for familiar faces in new roles. [...] Tonight's guest star is also a face you may recognise: playing a teaching assistant who gets into difficulty after an altercation with a pupil, say hello to sometime Any Dream Will Do winner, Lee Mead.
Charlie welcomes two new nurses to the ED [...]. Meanwhile, teaching assistant Harry (Lee Mead) is involved in an altercation between a senior colleague and a problem student."
It was an impressive debut - Lee gave a very natural performance, ably portraying Harry's first-day nerves and his struggles to resolve a moral dilemma when faced with the choice of supporting a colleague or doing the right thing by a troubled pupil.
Lee's eyes lit up as he spoke of the role to Helen Fospero on ITV's Lorraine a few weeks before it aired, saying: "it was brilliant, I had two weeks filming ... I'm so excited about that one."
As we now know, Lee was later cast in the series in a regular role that was written with him specifically in mind, that of Staff Nurse Ben 'Lofty' Chiltern, and he has often spoken of Executive Producer, Oliver Kent's kind words after this guest episode that he would keep him in mind for future roles, though he confesses that at the time he took them with a pinch of salt!
There are a few
screencaps from the episode for your enjoyment and with my apologies to those of the cast who have hit the cutting room floor, here's an edited version of the episode telling just Harry's Story.
Details of this and all Lee's later episodes can be found at HOLBY & CASUALTY INDEX.
Last updated: 20 August 2015